Why Print Media is Still Relevant in 2017


Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.

One of the best things that the internet has provided businesses is the ability to advertise and reach consumers online.

It provided business owners access to a wider demographic, and gave them ecommerce, the ability to sell products and services online. Just a quick browse for literally anything in Google, and you can see which companies provide it.

The growth of internet advertising also rendered other forms of advertising to be less popular – such as print media. The internet has proven to be an effective way for business owners to reach their desired audience, whether that be through advertising, social media, or just by having an effective website.

Considering all of this, there is a question worth asking — are print ads still worth a dime? What can print media bring to the table which online advertising can’t?

The Value of Print Media

Print media used to be the primary way for businesses to advertise. Ads printed on magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets were popular because it gave prospective customers a chance to see relevant information quickly and easily.

The late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were an important time for print media and graphic design. Movements in style and technology propelled the print world into the modern age. Typefaces and fonts continued to evolve in the 20th century as the first extended font families were developed.

The real value of print media stems from its content. Senior Vice President of Finance and Advertising at New York-based magazine publisher Time Inc., Andy Blau, has shared that “Print is still a top-of-funnel medium.”

Print media still holds a long-standing value that is necessary really for establishing brand worthiness in the marketplace, for creating the value of the brand, and for communicating very broadly. It you look at these old ads, it really pure brand advertising at its finest.

Then again, the reality is that advertisers have to factor in longer lag times for measuring print ads’ impact, but it’s worth it in the end because of print’s longer shelf life and higher potential for reaching beyond the initial reader. At the end of the day, people might still pay more attention to print than digital.

People see endless online ads every single day. It doesn’t matter whether it is a text-only ad on their Facebook timelines, a visual ad while they are searching on Google, or a full video ad before they watch the piece they chose to see on YouTube.

Ads come up on almost every website, so much so, that people may have become desensitized to online advertising. Just as when watching a TV show, people tend to leave the room when the commercials are on, people won’t even take a second look at online ads when they appear on a website. 

Costs vs. Effectivity

Yahoo! Business explained that since online marketing and social media advertising can be free or come at a relatively cheaper rate, lots of businesses no longer consider the costlier alternative of using print anymore.

Magazines are particularly high cost to place ads in, but business owners can often get smaller ads for less. Newspapers can be good alternatives to magazines as well. However, the actual ad cost doesn’t end with the price of placing it. The ad one has to be created first, and that can be pricey as it is. A business owner would need a photographer, a graphic artist and a copywriter if he or she wants to come up with quality print ad.

Another issue with print marketing is that many younger people look online rather than in a newspaper. It’s fairly uncommon to see anyone under the age of 30 reading the newspaper in print, since they can read it online. However, in some cases, one’s ad may be made available in both print and online editions, so it can still be a useful method of promotion.

What puts a lot of businesses off of using print media to advertise their services is the cost. However, the investment is still relatively low compared to what it can provide. Those who opt for print media can get a good return on the investment because this advertising vehicle is using a way of approaching people that they won’t have already seen 500 times today. A business owner using print ads is giving people something tangible that they can keep, and use as a reference as needed.

Despite the cost, there is that one great benefit to having one’s business appear in a magazine or newspaper. For one, it still conveys a certain level of professionalism, something that isn’t always evident online where everyone can pay $10 to $25 to get their ad on a decent website. If business owners want to be respected, print is still one of the higher quality media, simply because of the price. This is one reason people might want to consider.

Worth of Every Penny

Online advertising has given business owners a wider market to make their products and services more visible. What most shouldn’t forget, however, is that print ads are not only enduring but still a proven approach to getting more people involved. Many owners should understand that it’s not about choosing print or digital, but having all advertising tools harmonize with each other to reach the widest audience. Of course, there are ways in for owners to make an effective print ad.

It’s important to use an updated and visually-appealing logo that is modern, relevant and suitable for any audience. Working with professional graphic designers is a way to ensure that the ads are ready for print production.

Ensure that the advertisement is able to relate to the audience that the business is trying to reach. It is important to create ads in locations where they are relevant to individuals who may have a genuine interest in the products and services the business has to offer.

For instance, if a company wants to advertise jobs in Buffalo, it would be best to put in relevant images, information, and design to appeal to people around the target physical area.

Also, the incorporation of a call to action within print advertising design is a way to generate leads and to gain potential long-time followers and fans of the brand or the company.

Adding a call to action can be done by providing a bar code for smartphones and even implementing a URL for one’s website so that others are aware of how to go about learning more regarding the brand or business. This is the part where print and digital come hand in hand, making advertising easier and much more effective.


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